What to buy?

Discussion in 'Star Wars And Film Music' started by mxxs, Aug 1, 2010.

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  1. mxxs Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2010
    I want to buy music from the original trilogy. Which CDs or MP3 downloads are the best to buy? I've seen several different choices when searching.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Depends what you're looking for.

    If you're looking for a one-disc edition, this disc conducted by Varujan Kojian is for my money the best choice. A punchy, exciting reading of the music with crystal clear recording. There's also a one-disc edition conducted by John Williams that is very good, but I prefer the Kojian.

    If you're interested in the original recordings, it still depends. Do you want a great-sounding arrangement of the scores, each score on one disc plus a fourth disc of extras? If so, the Arista box set is what you're looking for. It's fantastic.

    The Sony 2-disc editions offer a complete presentation of each score across 2 discs (the Special Editions, anyway, so there are some changes in Return of the Jedi from the original, with "Lapti Nek" being replaced by "Jedi Rocks" for instance), but the mastering job is not impressive, and the sonics are therefore noticeably worse than they were in the Arista box set. This problem is particularly apparent in Return of the Jedi. For shame, Sony. For shame.

    So: if you want the complete scores and aren't an audiophile, go with the Sony Special Edition sets. If you're okay with one-disc arrangements of the scores with better sound quality, go for the Arista box set. And if you can only afford a single disc at this time, go for the Kojian-conducted Star Wars Trilogy.

    Hope that helped!

    P.S. And while you're at it don't forget Joel McNeely's score to Shadows of the Empire.
  3. General Kenobi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 1998
    star 6
    The 1993 Anthology (Arista box set) is out of print, and while I'm sure they can still be found used, they may be a bit expensive.

    In general, the currently available Sony Special Edition discs (first issued in 1997 by RCA) are the most complete and are probably what most Star Wars fans would prefer.

    As far as sound quality, it comes down to how you will be listening to them. On an iPod through headphones or on small computer speakers? You may be content with the downloads from iTunes. Otherwise, I would recommend getting the soundtracks on CD. While it is true that there are sound quality differences between the Special Editions and the Anthology, they will be most noticeable on high-end audio gear and by people with very discerning hearing - "audiophiles".
  4. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Oh, there's also another alternative I forgot to mention: if you are interested in concert arrangements of the material rather than necessarily the film version, Charles Gerhardt has recorded all three scores as part of his classic film music series, and they're all interesting interpretations of the material:

    Star Wars (and CE3K)
    The Empire Strikes Back
    Return of the Jedi
  5. mxxs Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2010
    Thanks for the replies. Very helpful info.
  6. darkerdave Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2010
    There are plenty to choose from as mentioned above. If you want to be a completist (and for a bit of a laugh) there are plenty of Tv/Film Theme orchestra versions of the SW music, mostly rubbish but it's good to hear other orchestras versions of these.
  7. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Many are not great, but the "Throne Room and End Title" from Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops (available on The Ultimate Movie Music Collection) is an excellent rendition of the piece.
  8. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    By the way, if you want to wait, we're beginning to hear rumors, though nothing substantiated yet, that there will be a new SW score collection coming out to coincide with the Blu-Ray release of the films. Fingers crossed!
  9. darkerdave Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Not heard that one Mastadge, will have to hunt that one down- thanks for that.
  10. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    If you don't mind downloads, you can buy it individually from places like iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/throne-room-end-title-from/id80887313?i=80887307
  11. Anakin_Skywalker20 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2000
    star 5
    there is???
  12. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
  13. Anakin_Skywalker20 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2000
    star 5

    New sw collection coming out next year?? I haven't heard any reports if that is true or not.
  14. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Only rumors; nothing has been announced.
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